Practicing gratitude not only makes you feel good, it physically CHANGES your brain!
The first time someone mentioned that I practicing gratitude would make me feel better I rolled my eyes in disbelief.
Really? Just thinking about something I’m grateful for will make me feel better?
Not a chance.
Even though I’m a Certified Hypnotherapist, I’m by nature skeptical. I don’t believe everything that comes down the pike.
I knew that having more money and finding my soul mate would make me feel better – not something as silly as listing things I’m grateful for!
Fast forward and years later I require every one of my clients to practice gratitude along with their AM/PM Tapping routine.
Gratitude Changes Your Brain
Reading that practicing gratitude can physically change your brain was what turned me around.
It was the proof I needed to show me that gratitude was worth practicing!
“Something as simple as writing down three things you’re grateful for every day for 21 days in a row significantly increases your level of optimism, and it holds for the next six months. The research is amazing,” said Harvard researcher Shawn Anchor.
The Brain Imaging Study
A team of researchers out of Indiana University recruited 43 subjects suffering from anxiety or depression.
Half of this group were assigned a simple gratitude exercise — writing letters of thanks to people in their lives — and three months later all 43 underwent brain scans.
During the brain scans the subjects participated in a gratitude task in which they were told a benefactor had given them a sum of money and were asked whether they’d like to donate a portion of the funds to charity as an expression of their gratitude.
Those who gave away money showed a particular pattern of activity in their brains.
But here’s the most fascinating result of the study:
The participants who’d completed the gratitude task months earlier not only reported feeling more gratefulness two weeks after the task than members of the control group, but also, months later, showed more gratitude-related brain activity in the scanner.
What this means is that practicing gratitude jump starts a healthy good-feeling new cycle in your brain.
Counting your blessing now makes it easier to notice them later.
So when things are tough, it’s easier to focus your energy on what is good and working in your life.
And the more good you see in your life, the happier and more successful you’re going to be.
How To Start Practicing Gratitude
Make your practice easy.
When you go to bed tell yourself 5 things you are grateful for. You don’t have to write it down. Just think about it.
Practice this for two weeks and let me know what a difference it makes in your life!
Amit Sodha says
You can never have enough of these reminders Wendy! A great and clear example of how simple and important something like this can be! 🙂